Summer’s last hurrah: finger-licking good pork barbecue

Yankee Chef logoBy Jim Bailey

We’re nearing the last hurrah for warm weather barbecues. Although this recipe is prepared in the oven, it is easily adaptable for your outdoor grill.

I use pork loin here because it is so much lower in saturated fat, I don’t want my last summer  barbecued pork to stay with me both physically and emotionally. The addition of apple butter makes this sauce robust, thick and truly finger-licking, so get the wet naps.

fivespiceapplepork2 teaspoons five-spice powder
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 1/2-2 pounds pork loin, trimmed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup apple butter
1/4 cup jarred sweet chili sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons molasses
1 teaspoon each paprika and cayenne (or chili) powder
1 teaspoon dried ginger
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Preheat the oven to 275-degrees F. In a small bowl, combine five-spice powder, salt and pepper. Cut the pork into 4 x 1 1/2-inch “French fries.” Place pork in a bowl and with one hand sprinkling the spice mix over the meat, use the other hand to evenly coat each piece.

Add oil to a 10-inch cast iron skillet and place over medium high heat. When oil is hot, add pork. Stir-fry for 3 minutes, stirring often. Remove from stove while making the sauce.
In a medium bowl, combine remainder of ingredients and whisk well. Pour over pork in skillet, evenly coat pork and tightly cover with foil. Bake 15 minutes.

Remove foil to bake an additional 20 to 25 minutes, or until pork is cooked throughout. Remove and serve immediately.
Yankee Chef book coverSchiffer Books of Pennsylvania has released Jim Bailey’s new book The Yankee Chef: Feel Good Food for Every Kitchen. It contains more than 550 traditional New England comfort-food recipes tweaked for today’s palates with hundreds of kitchen tips and food facts. The hardback book is 312 pages and contains 200 color images. Its ISBN is 978-0-7643-4191-5 and the cost is $34.99. The book can be ordered through Misty Valley Books, 802-875-3400.

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Filed Under: Community and Arts LifeThe Yankee Chef

About the Author: Jim Bailey is a third generation Yankee Chef, New England food historian and newspaper columnist. His first cookbook, simply titled The Yankee Chef, has been published. He welcomes all feedback, questions or comments at

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